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1999 K2 with Waldemar Niclevicz reporting:

Updates are below...

  • K2 1999: Waldemar Niclevicz is the first Brazilian to climb Everest, Vinson (Antarctica's highest mountain), Elbrus (Europe's highest mountain) and Carstensz. He is also the first South-American to climb The Seven Summits. Waldemar has confirmed his K2 expedition for 1999. Waldemar will now acclimatize in Bolivia from May 11th to 20th, then he will head to Italy. On May 30th he will be leaving for Islamabad to resolve the bureaucratic issues. Then he'll go to Skardu and plans to start  trekking on June 4th. He will be accompanied by climbers Abele Blanc (Italy) and Pepe Garcez (Spain). They will try to climb Hidden Peak and Gasherbrum II before K2. Their goal is to arrive at K2 base camp around 10th or 15th of July. Their permission goes until August 31st.
  • Waldemar, along with his friend guta nascimento (who will be at K2 base camp during part of the climb), will be sending Everest News reports from K2 in 1999 !

Update 5/24/99:

  • Dear friends who follow EverestNews.com

    Get ready! From Jun  1st on Everest News will transmit "K2 on-line", digital photos and information sent daily via satellite from Karakorum. You will follow our expedition step by step, formed  by the Italian Abele Blanc, the Spaniard Pepe Garces and I, the Brazilian Waldemar Niclevicz. Firstly, we are going to face Gasherbrum and Hidden Peak and then, K2. It won't be easy to climb those three mountains, that's why I count on your cheering!

    Before starting my trip, I spent three days in Bolivia. The weather was  terrific and I could climb three beautiful mountains: Tarija (5,060m), Pequeno Alpamayo (5,370m) and Condoriri (5,648m). Those mountains are located near La Paz,   on the called Cordillera Real in Bolivian Andes. It was a pity I couldn't stay longer, but I believe that  those few days have been enough  to alert my organism that I'll reach higher altitudes.

    And now, my friends, I've already got my suitcases ready ( I mean, backpacks) to K2! I 'm starting my long trip on May 23rd, leaving Brazil to Italy   where I'll meet Abele Blanc. Together we're going  to do the last   shopping and on May 30th we'll leave to Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. We'll meet Pepe Garces there.

    Waldemar Niclevicz

    Attention: From Jun  1st on "K2 on-line" will start, with digital photos and daily information, sent via satellite directly from Pakistan.

    Project K2 is sponsored by O BOTICΑRIO, IRIDIUM AND MATTE LEΓO.



    From today (Jun 1st) on, the Brazilian alpinist Waldemar Niclevicz (33 years old) starts sending all details of the expedition to K2, via satellite from Pakistan. - The second highest mountain in the world and the most dangerous one.

    This is the second time that Niclevicz faces the death mountain. In August 1998, 571 meters far  from the summit, the expedition was over due to bad weather. With 100 km/hour winds and snow up to the waist, Niclevicz decided to end the climb "I tried 8 times to get the summit, going on would be imprudent, the only wise decision in that moment was to come back home alive in order to be able to accomplish a new attempt this year." says the alpinist.

    During the expedition to K2 in 1998, Waldemar Niclevicz's site received about 120 thousand accesses, the estimation  for this year is up to 300 thousand. The site is shown in Portuguese and English, 75% are from Brazil and 25% abroad. One of the reasons that the site is so visited is that Everest News  - the most visited site about alpinism in the world - having 50 thousand accesses daily, also divulges  Waldemar Niclevicz's site.


    Before facing K2, Niclevicz will climb other mountains over 8000 meters as a training - Gasherbrum 8,035m and Hidden Peak 8,068 meters; the 14th and 11th highest mountains in the world respectively, placed in Karakorum, the same cordillera of K2  


    Today Jun 1st, Niclevicz will buy food in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. In order to help the expedition, two cooks were hired. In Islamabad (city placed in the North of Pakistan) 150 porters will be selected to take 10-ton equipment  and food to the camping. On Thursday, Jun 3rd, Waldemar Niclevicz and his companions  will start a 100-kilometre walk as far as  Gasherbrum base. Depending on the weather this walk can take them  from 7 to 10 days.

    The companies O BOTICΑRIO, NUTRIMENTAL, MATTE LEΓO AND IRIDIUM sponsor and support Waldemar Niclevicz, in  Project K2 sequence.

Update 6/1/99:


Pakistan - Islamabad - Jun 1st 1999 - 10th day of the expedition

Dear friends,

Today starts K2 on line, with direct transmission, via satellite, one of the biggest adventures on Earth: climbing  the most difficult and dangerous mountain in the world, K2 (8,611m). Our challenge will be greater because we intend to climb two other mountains over 8 thousand meters of altitude before, Gasherbrum (8,035 m) and Hidden peak (8,068 m).

You can follow each step of our expedition by updating, with digital photos and information sent via satellite. Information about other expeditions will also be available here, as well about the climb of other great mountains here in Karakorum. This time will be very hectic in the North of Pakistan, there are about seven expeditions which will face K2, 9 to Broad Peak (8,047 m), 9 to Gasherbrum, 4 to Hidden Peak and 5 to Nanga Parbat (8,125 m).

Today is the tenth day traveling; after leaving Brazil I have been in Italy buying some equipment. Fortunately we're already in Islamabad and I admit I was a little afraid of not being able to enter Pakistan, due to the last conflicts with India, on  Kashmir territory. We hope these two countries can find a peaceful solution, that all of them do their best to avoid a tragedy between Moslems and Hindus, as it has been happening in Yugoslavia between Serbs and Kurds.

Abele Blanc and I left Aosta (north of Italy) at 4 am, towards  Milan Airport. After traveling all night long and   for almost two days, with long stops in Rome, Dubai and Lahore (the main cultural city of Pakistan). We arrived very tired in Islamabad yesterday, where we got in touch with our agent, Ashraf Aman, to start filling the diplomatic requirements. We went to migration today in order to get a permission to travel in the North of Pakistan in the next three months and also we were introduced to Captain Shoukat Naem Khan, our officer who will follow our expedition, so that we must respect several requirements imposed by the Government.

I'm very glad by our expedition. It has started and our team is joined at last. We are a skilled and enthusiastic team. Abele Blanc (Italian, with 7 of 8 thousand meters, including Everest), Pepe Garces (Spaniard, with 3 of 8,000 meters, including Everest), Christian Kuntner (Italian, with 7 of 8,000 m, including Everest and K2), Andrew Lock (Australian, with 4 of 8,000m including K2) and I, Waldemar Niclevicz (Brazilian, with 3 of 8,000 m and the Seven Summits of the World, including Everest). Christian and Andrew will go along just to Gasherbrum and Hidden Peak.

You can recognize all our team on the photo today . On the first row captain Khan, I and Abele. On the second row Pepe, Andrew and Christian. For photos see below.

Update 6/3/99:


Pakistan, Islamabad  Jun 3rd 1999.

Fortunately everything has been solved in Islamabad and we can leave towards Karakorum. We're going to do 700 km in two days from  Skardu, the last big city which will  be found  before starting our approximation walk, to Gasherbrum base.

Today we're going to North of Pakistan by Karakorum highway, where we're going to spend a night in Chilas. We're probably getting there very late, so I'm taking this time to send this message in the morning, avoiding leaving K2 on line without information. Unfortunately it was impossible to do this part of the trip by plane, because  some flights  have been cancelled last days, and there are too many passengers to Skardu. Traveling by plane avoids dangerous roads, that go along Ingo River, one of the most important in Asia.

I promise a photo of our trip tomorrow, and I hope I can send it from Skardu, "Insha Ala" as they say here ,  "God willing everything succeeds"

Update 6/4/99:


Pakistan - Chilas/Skardu - Jun 4th 1999 - 13th day of the expedition

The trip to here was terrific. More than 700 km by Karakorum Highway, a pavement road, but full of holes, and no signaling at all.  Besides, of course,  being hung on a canyon formed by Indo River. The danger was big by drivers careless, who drove in high speed and overstepped in forbidden places. What called our attention was the great quantity of soldiers that have being carried, probably to Kashmir region, that's about 200 km from here. We've seen many buses full of soldiers.

Yesterday we spent the night in Chilas, where we arrived at 11:00 pm. It was funny: one hour before we were obliged to stop in a military barrier, where there were a dozen cars. When we asked about what was going on we were warned by a soldier that there could be some assaults by the road and if we went on, it would be our problem. They told us that  there have been assaults almost every nights (big stones are thrown on the road and when the car stops it's assaulted). We accepted the challenge, but we were very alert in order to avoid any surprise.

Today we left Chilas at 6:00 am, to get Skardu just after midday. Our intention was to finish the preparation,  mainly buy some fresh food (potatoes, rice, fruit, vegetables, etc....)   hire porters so that  we could  go to Askole tomorrow. But, today is Friday and every Friday afternoon Moslems   don't  work here in Pakistan. We need to wait here more one day, then we can leave towards mountains definitively. I leave you a photo of Karakorum Highway, where there are some typical multicolored trucks here in Pakistan. This region crosses the Northeast region of Pakistan and Kashgar in China. In a total 1.200 km took 30 years to be finished. At the back Nanga Parbat is outstanding, with 8,126 m of altitude.

Photo 6/4/98

Update 6/5/99:


Pakistan - Skardu 2,300 m  Jun 5th 1999  - 14th day of the expedition

I've tried and tried but it was impossible to leave Skardu. Today nobody works here, it's a holiday. I've heard many ceremonies will happen on the city streets. Then, we took advantage, having some difficulties due to the holiday, to finish hiring our porters and buy the last food. Soon at night we want to leave our jeeps carried with our luggage, ready to initiate our trip because we intend to go to Askole tomorrow early  morning.

Update 6/6/99:

Pakistan - Skardu/Askole  3,050 m/ Korophon 3,150 m - Jun 6th 1999 - 15th day of the expedition

We decided to have a long day today, trying to recover the day we lost in Skardu. So, I'm sending this message beforehand because I don't know if we are really going to arrive to Korophon. We're going to leave at 6:00 am, along of 140 km dangerous dirt road, which will take us to Askole, where our approximation walk to Gasherbrum base-camp  will start.

It was in that road that an accident happened with one of our jeeps last year, when one of them went to the bottom of Braldu River and two porters died.

Our intention is to begin the walk today and camp in Korophon, where we should arrive  late afternoon. I apologize to send this message beforehand, but during the approximation walk I'll have some difficulty to update K2 on-line. We are setting camp every day, moving all day long and arriving in the camps tired. We're going to  take a time when we arrive at base-camp.

Update 6/7/99:

Pakistan - Korophon 3,150 m /Bardimal 3,250 m, Jun 7th 1999- 16th day of the expedition

Yesterday was very long, but worthwhile. We left Skardu at 5:00 am with 12 jeeps, and soon we enter Shigar River Valley. It took us 6 hours and half, 140 km, by a frightening road, mainly when we went along Braldu River, hung on a   abysm  which was more than 50 m high. The landscape was getting wilder and more beautiful. Then, we arrived in Askole, the last village in the region, having a little more than  a hundred dwellers, where the precarious road finished.

In Askole we have divided our 2,500 kg of equipment and food among 105 porters, each one taking an average of 25 kg. 16 porters carry just flour ( so that all porters can get its own bread - chapati - every day), others 16 take kerosene (necessary for cooking),  2 porters just take sugar, 8 of them take vegetables, 2 just eggs, 1 carry the kitchen facilities, 24 take Brazilian and Italian food, 2 carry   tents, 2 take our liaison officer's equipment, 32 take alpinism equipment and our clothes.

We wished to get Paiju today, but it was not possible, because the  rivers waters which we had to cross were very strong, so our walking got 3 hours longer . Then we just got Bardimal, at 3,250 m. It's unbelievable, but what most disturb us was the warmth, worse, because we are in a very arid region, very hard to get potable water.

In a total, we are going to walk 105 km from Askole (2,900m) to Gasherbrum base camp( 5,200 m) in about 8 days.

I leave you a photo of Dumidormo River, where appear the only 4 porters who had courage enough to face the strong stream. All of them were taken by   the water strength for more than 15 m, but they have arrived safe on the other bank.

Photo 6/7/98

Update 6/8/99:

Pakistan - Bardimal 3,250 m / Paiju 3,370 m - Jun 8th 1999 - 17th day of the expedition

We arrived in one of the most important places of the approximation walk today. We're in Paiju, 3,370 m with other three expeditions: a Chilean one that goes to Broad Peak (8,047 m), and two Koreans (one goes to Gasherbrum and other to Hidden Peak). Paiju is a true oasis in the middle of these arid mountains  , a wood with a crystalline water source ( till here everything seems perfect). There must be about 600 people here; just the Koreans are 26 and 300 porters. The expeditions usually stay here two nights, because they need one day for the porters to make bread (chapati) Well, the  trouble here is that there are too many people in a very small place, there are feces everywhere, people speaking aloud all the time, it's a complete mess.

Today we left Bardimal at 6:30 am, along of Biaho Kungma River. The day was terrific, blue sky, no clouds at all and we could see K2 very far,   surpassing  all other mountains, with a very impressive beauty. All environment will become more magnificent from now on, we are going to pass through many famous and beautiful mountains in the world.

Will you please excuse me for not answering the e-mails, but   I'll just recharge  my notebook battery when I arrive at base camp. I leave you  a photo where there are two porters at the bank of Biaho Lungma River.

Photo 6/8/98

Update 6/9/99:


Pakistan,  Paiju 3,370 m / Urdukas 4,010 m, Jun 9th 1999 - 18th day of the expedition

Unfortunately my notebook battery is over, so I can't send neither messages or digital photos. I'm leaving little messages by Iridium phone and I must arrive at base camp in three days. Then I'll be able to get my solar energy equipment,  have the batteries charging  and update K2 online normally.

Will you excuse me, but it's not possible batteries charging during the day, because we're walking all day long. The weather continues great and the mountains marvelous.

Project K2 is sponsored by O BOTICΑRIO,  IRIDIUM,   NUTRIMENTAL and MATTE LEΓO. 

Update 6/10/99:

Pakistan, Urdukas 4010 m / Gore 4345 m  Jun 10th 1999 - 19th day of the expedition

The weather has changed drastically. In the morning there was a strong mist and it has snowed all day long. We arrived in Gore with no problems but we have no idea how the way will be. The temperature was 30 degrees centigrade and   fell to 5 degrees centigrade. It happened because we are walking on Baltoro Glacier. I keep leaving little messages by Iridium Phone and from two days on (when we are likely to arrive at Gasherbrum base-camp) I'll set my solar energy equipment and charge my notebook battery so I'll update K2 online as usual. I'll send news and photos from Gasherbrum base-camp.

Update 6/11/99:


Pakistan, Gore 4345 m / Concσrdia 4720 m, 20th day of the expedition

Last night there was a strong storm on our camp. It snowed more than 20 cm. The wind stopped around 10:00 am and we decided to go back to our walking. After midday the snowed  kept falling uninterruptedly. We couldn't find   the steps on the path so we had to look for them sinking in the snow. We hope this snow diminishes so that we can arrive at Gasherbrum base-camp tomorrow. I'm sending this message by Iridium phone and I hope to be able to operate K2 online as usual tomorrow with all the communication equipment charged, sending photos as well.

Update 6/12/99:


Pakistan, Concσrdia 4720 m/ Gasherbrum base-camp 5220m, Jun 12th 1999,  21st day of the expedition 

It's a pleasure to inform you that today we arrived at Gasherbrum base-camp. After 105-km walking we are at the base of the first two mountains that we are going to face this year: Gasherbrum and Hidden Peak

There was a violent storm yesterday so it was hard  to open a path on a soft snow today from Concσrdia to here. As our expedition is the first one this year,  the path was completely hidden by snow. We decided to set our camp 100 higher than the usual place, trying to avoid other expedition's noises,  that must arrive in the next weeks.

I leave you a photo of our walking, where there are some courageous balti porters facing the snow to arrive at base-camp. Note the photos should be posted soon.)

Update 6/13/99:


Pakistan -  Gasherbrum base-camp 5220 m, 22nd day of the expedition

Today is a day off here, or better, day to set tents, bathrooms, kitchen. We're likely to be here for two or three days ending our base-camp before start climbing.

I must explain one thing: we are at "Gasherbrum" base-camp. Gasherbrum is a massif with 5 imposing peaks, two of them higher than 8 thousand meters. The highest is Gasherbrum I, with 8,068m , also called Hidden Peak; the second one is Gasherbrum II with 8,035 m. We are trying to climb both, but to avoid misunderstanding I'll always call Gasherbrum I - Hidden Peak and Gasherbrum II - Gasherbrum.

As there was technical problems in my communication equipment I take advantage to send you photos of our approximation walk, so that everybody can have an idea about the beauty around us. On the photo there are two  balti porters on Baltoro Glacial and at the back the famous Trango Towers.

Photo 6/14/98

Update 6/14/99:


Pakistan  - Jun 14th  Starting climbing up to 5,650 m and back to base-camp  23rd day of the expedition  

Since the weather has been better, we started with immense satisfaction to climb Gasherbrums. We went to 5,650 m, open a path on the  South Gasherbrum Glacier. It wasn't easy to get there, we suffered from warmth of the sun and got very tired trying to find a safe path among blocks of ice and deep cracks, what we call serac or ice fall. Abele, Pepe, Christian and I (Andrew stayed at base having some rest) went joint by the rope all the time, what saved us of many falls in deep cracks. In fact we faced true labyrinth, several times we were in a blind alley or in front of a insurmountable  crack (some of them 5m wide and 30m deep). We marked our path with some red flags, what will help in our next lunge. It was very difficult because we were the first ones to face the South Gasherbrum Glacial this year.

We went half way to camp 1. In this camp, that must be placed at 6,100 m of altitude we'll do our attacks to both Gasherbrum and Hidden Peak. We expect to end to climb these two mountains in 40 days, and then go on to K2.

Falling in the cracks was practically unavoidable. The one who was ahead suffered more, both by the effort to squash the soft snow and by the frighten to see the legs loosen  in an abysm very deep. (We sank in the crack up to the waist, because we were always alert in order to stop the fellow's fall with the rope. So, each 30 minutes one of us went to the point of the rope. My friend Abele Blanc was the most enthusiastic by starting the climb, so I leave you a photo where he appears among the ice blocks of the ice fall.

Photo 6/14/98

Update 6/15/99:


Pakistan Camp-base 5,220m, 24th day of the expedition

The weather has been wonderful, the sky was blue all day long. It was a pity we weren't climbing, so we took advantage to have a rest, after our lunge yesterday. We are preparing to climb again tomorrow morning, I hope the weather keeps good.

We aren't the only expedition here. Today our base-camp was visited by  Oscar Cadiach (chief of a Spanish expedition) and  San Bae (chief of a Korean expedition). Two other Korean expeditions have arrived, one of them will face Hidden Peak, the others will face Gasherbrum. There are other 6 expeditions that must arrive in the next days.

There is also a Korean expedition trying to climb Gasherbrum IV. At K2 there is already  two expeditions at base-camp , one of them is Japanese whose chief is  Takuo Fujiwara and other Korean whose chief is Hyueng Chil Lim.

I leave you a photo of our  base-camp , which is at   5,200m of altitude, at the joint of Gasherbrum South Glacier with Duca Degli Abruzzi Glacier. The sharp  mountain at the back is Hidden Peak


Update 6/16/99:


Pakistan - Base-camp 5,220 m / Camp 1  6,100 m, Jun 16th 25th day of the expedition

We woke up at 2:00 am today and at 3:00 we were facing   the delicate Gasherbrum Glacial  for the second time. It was very cold, 11 degrees centigrade below zero what made us walk quickly and  at 6:30 am we arrived at the equipment warehouse that we had made before. We went on enthusiastic opening path in a hard snow up to a big  amphitheater which left us in front of Gasherbrum and Hidden Peak. In that place we set our Camp 2 at 6,100 m of altitude. Camp 1 is an enormous amphitheater.

I have been amazed by the beauty of Gasherbrum massif. There are 7 summits in a remarkable beauty.
I'm seeing all of them now, thanks to the nice weather. There is no cloud in the sky, which is completely blue. We are all very excited. Our main difficulty is to find a path in the  labyrinth through the cracks. We don't go far from the tents avoiding falling in one of these cracks. Later we went out for recognizing a way to Gasherbrum - Camp 2. We found soft snow where we sank up to the knees. We arrived around 6,400m of altitude, then we returned to our base-camp for some sleep.

I'm with Iridium phone but not with the notebook, so  I leave a photo of our last attempt  where Abele Blanc and Pepe Garces appear in the beginning of the most complicate part, on the way to camp 1. The summit in the centre is Gasherbrum.

Photo 6/16/98

Update 6/17/99:


Pakistan  - Camp 1 5,950 m / base-camp 5,220m, 26th day of the expedition

We went  from camp 1 to base-camp. And we regretted for not having started to descend before 6:00 am, because we arrived at 10:00, and it was very hot. The snow  has started melting and formed true rivers  on the ice near base-camp. We hope this nice weather goes on, because we had much snow in the beginning of Gasherbrum, where we did a recognition yesterday. It's necessary to wait some days so that the wind and sun take some snow away and  the climb becomes safer and less tiring.

For a while we are very satisfied, camp 1 is ready and in the our next lunge we expect to set camp 2. The other expeditions that are here today (Koreans and Spanish) started  moving, but they have been very slow for a while because they aren't  acclimatized yet. We wished to set camp 2 at once, as the weather has been nice, but it's necessary to respect our body and let it adapt step by step to the rarefied air, which is our main aim in climbing Gasherbrum and Hidden Peak: We want to get K2 very well acclimatized and with plenty of energy.

I leave you a photo of our camp 1, in the back appears the magnificent Gasherbrum, over the  left  tent a crest   takes to the superior pyramid.  Our climb route is by that  crest, when we get the rock pyramid we cross to the right through the rock base, so we follow by the right crest to the summit . Insha Ala !


Update 6/18/99:


Pakistan - base-camp 5,220m,   27th day of the expedition

It was a deserved day-off  at base-camp today .We took advantage to take  shower, wash clothes and prepare the equipment for our next lunge.

Having a bath at 5,000 m of altitude isn't so strange since you really want it. We have our own bathroom, a small tent were we improvised a water-closet, in order to avoid spread feces all around. And we have other tent at the same size, where we hang those camping showers, having some heated water, of course. It's obvious that we need to wait for a hot day, avoiding  the risk of getting a cold.

Our main problem today, was to prepare our lunge to Gasherbrum, where we intend to set camp 2.We have separated ropes, tents, fuel (gas) and food. We are worried about the weather, that is likely to change. The day finished completely cloudy and the temperature increased (at night, which had been  usually -11 C and it was only -5)

I leave you a photo of our base-camp today  morning, when the weather was good. In the back Hidden Peak appears.


Update 6/19/99:


Pakistan - Base-camp 5,220 m / Camp 1 5,950 m, 28th day of the expedition

We woke up at 2:00 am again. At 3:00 we were in the darkness with our front torches (which go attached to the head). We didn't like the temperature, around -5 degrees centigrade, it should be much colder (the increase in the temperature means bad weather). But , we went on to camp 1, much quicker, because the path is well marked by our steps on the snow,  and the signaling flags that we left in our last lunge. We arrived in our tents at 9:00 am.

We rested for a while and went to the beginning of our climb route, where we left ropes, stakes  and other equipment. Now we are going to rest, because  we intend to start the works to open a path up to 6,500 m of Gasherbrum very early, where we intend to set camp 2. The weather keeps unstable, but it doesn't disturb us.

I leave you a photo of our camp 1, where it's possible to realize the difficulties through the cracks that exist in the Glacial.


Update 6/20/99:


Pakistan - Camp 1 5,950 m / Camp 2, 2,650 m, 29th day of the expedition

We're going to work hard today, so I send this message beforehand. We're going to wake up at 3:00 am to start our climb to Gasherbrum  by   4:00 am , when the sun rises. The snow must be our great problem , maybe we sink up to the waist. But, if everything succeeds, we expect to set camp 2 around  6,500 m and spend the night in that altitude, improving our acclimatization.

Let's cheer everything succeeds, because to set camp 2 means our big step towards the summit. We intend to set one more camp (number 3) and go to final attack in the next lunge( it's usual to set a fourth camp). I leave you a photo of Gasherbrum, seen from camp 1. We are going to follow the crest in the centre of the photo that goes to the left side.


Update 6/21/99:

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM Pakistan- Base-camp 5,220 m, 30th day of the expedition

Our approximation walk to base-camp started   wonderfully: We were full of hopes and the weather was great. Each day we were granted by a beautiful sun amidst an endless  blue sky.   Suddenly, on the 4th walk-day, some dark clouds appeared , the warmth was replaced by an icy cold and some snowflakes started   falling.  "That's just to remind us that we are in Himalayans" said my friend Abele.

When we arrived at base-camp, the weather got better. The clouds disappeared completely and the ski  was   bluer and endless. We were very hot on the glacial and we were glad in going ahead. We set camp 1 in the first 4 days and we dreamed  enthusiastically in setting  camp 2, at 5,920 m. And the nature reminded us once more that we were among the highest mountains in the world, the Himalayans. 

During the night the snow started.  On Sunday morning at 5:00 am, without any option, we left the tents in Camp 1 and started descending to base-camp. The  last days' footsteps  had disappeared, the visibility was around 100 m. Having much difficulty, we looked for our path amidst the  mist and the snowstorm that didn't stop falling. We got base-camp at 9:00 am  and during all day long the snowflakes kept falling on the mountains,  breaking out big avalanches. So,   today we rested waiting for  nice weather, without forgetting we are in Himalayans.

My friend Pepe Garces appears on the photo, during our descending  to base yesterday, looking for our path amidst the mist and snowstorm among the ice blocks.


Update 6/22/99:


Pakistan  -   Base-camp 5,220 m, 31st day of the expedition

Dear friends who follow K2 on-line:

   I left my beloved country exactly a month ago, trying to accomplish one of my greatest dreams, the climb of K2. I miss my family and friends a lot, but fortunately, the wish to execute each one of my aims is greater. It is not easy being among these great mountains so long, far from the tenderness and   comfort of whom we love so much. But maybe it is one of the best ways to valorize the life and prove the human being's capacity to overcome  his owns limits. Of course, my wish to return  home is enormous, and it  makes me happy. However, these big mountains also contribute for my happiness.
    The snow  has been falling here, without stopping,  since Sunday. It's strange,  the day is hot and the snow barely accumulates because it melts as soon as it falls. (Now, here in Pakistan  at 3:31 pm  - 8 hours later than in Brazil - 4 hours later GMT - it is 14 degrees Celsius. At night the   temperature was 9 below zero). Besides, the clouds are low, sliding on  the glaciers. So, we have no choice, just wait for  good weather.
    There is already other expedition here at the base-camp. It is a commercial expedition led by an English man called David Hamilton. Yesterday he organized a big meeting  with all leaders of the expeditions. In this moment, there are 6 expeditions here: 3 Koreans , 1 Spanish (commercial), 1 English (commercial) and our International. There are still other expeditions that must  arrive in the next weeks. The objective of the meeting was to find a common strategy so that all expeditions can be benefited.
    It was clear that the Koreans and the commercial expeditions (with clients who pay a lot and with many altitude porters) want to put more than two thousand meters of ropes at Gasherbrum. We adopted a position that left everyone a little disappointed. I can explain everything tomorrow.
    I leave you  a photo of our meeting, that happened at the   English expedition dining hall. I am  on the left  of the picture, and after follows David Hamilton and the Spanish couple: Nanni and Oscar Cardiach. The Koreans were sat in front of us.


Update 6/23/99:


Pakistan - base-camp 5,220 m,  32nd day of the expedition

The weather keeps unstable. It snowed a lot last night. Today the sunrise was wonderful, but it snowed again after 11:00 am. We have received the forecast from Spain, asked by Barrabes, who we thank a lot. The weather keeps unstable until Sunday the 27th and then the weather may improve, with the full moon on the 28th.

Let me explain an important change in our strategy. Other expeditions started arriving at base-camp, aiming to climb just Gasherbrum. All of them had a  lot of expectations about  our group, that was the first one to arrive, has an outstanding technical level and much disposition to work. So, we realized that, if we didn't hurry up someone hardly  would do anything. Well, all of you know that besides Gasherbrum, we want to climb Hidden Peak and K2. And since so many people want to climb Gasherbrum, we have decided to climb Hidden Peak first and let the other  expeditions climb Gasherbrum and do their job too. Climbing Gasherbrum is much easier than Hidden Peak (I remind you that camp 1 is the same for both  mountains). Our decision has caused some displeasure in other expeditions, that were waiting for us to open the path towards the summit.

The photo today couldn't be other except Hidden Peak, the highest mountain of Gasherbrum massif, also known as Gasherbrum I, with 8,068 m of altitude, the 11th highest mountain in the world. The photo shows our camp 1 too.


Update 6/24/99:


Hidden Peak   Base 5,220m / camp 1  5,950m, 31st day of the expedition

Pepe and I were tired of being at base-camp so long then, we are going up to camp 1, even the weather doesn't show  signals to get better. Our hope is that we can work at high altitudes.

It's funny that in these three days, no other expedition has dared to go to camp 1, so we are going to find a path practically invisible on  the snow, that has been falling regularly in the last days.

Pepe and I expected to leave base at 3:00 am, we were awaken till 4:30 am. As the snow continued falling and the visibility was  shorter, we returned to our sleeping bags. It's incredible that at 8:00  am the sky was blue and the sun was shining.  Even  getting  cloudy after lunch, we have   decided to leave towards camp 1 tonight. We want to depart at 8:00 pm, it's  a strange hour apparently, but we can't waste time. Then, Pepe and I go first. Abele, Christian and Andrew must leave a little later, at midnight. Our plan is to join the two groups at sunrise at camp 1, and leave towards  Gasherbrum. There we intend to set camp 2, at 6,500m. It won't be easy, there must be much snow on the way. Don't miss the news tomorrow!!!

I leave you a photo taken a week ago, of our base-camp, so that you can have an idea where the two mountains that we are going to face are located. Gasherbrum appears sharp, on the left . Hidden Peak appears on the right side of the photo.


Update 6/26/99:


Hidden Peak - camp 2, 6,500m / Base 5,220 m, 35th day of the expedition

Our camp 2 is the beginning of "Japanese Corridor", a cut in the magnificent Northwest wall of Hidden Peak. It's a cut   is this aisle, the technically the  most difficult part of all climb, around 200 meters, very vertical. Unfortunately many people have lost their lives in that part, principally when they were descending or with bad weather. We woke up very early today (at 4:00 am) to do a recognition is that  delicate part, but we think it's not need to put  fixed  ropes.

We were amazed by the good weather and a big wish to follow towards the summit, but it's very important to respect our bodies. Although we are all very well, we  are aware  it's not the right time yet. So, we did a long descending to base-camp for a deserved rest. We intend to return to Hidden Peak within a few days to have the final attack.

You can see some of our tents at camp 2  in Hidden Peak at 6,500 m. In the back appear Gasherbrum 5 and 6 (from the right to the left). Abele Blanc and Pepe Garces are next to the tent.


Update 6/27/99:


Dear friends who follow K2 ,

It's a pleasure to send  you this message from base-camp, after three important work days at high altitudes.

Our camp 2 is set at 6,500m. The hardest part of the climb, the "Japanese Corridor", where  we did a recognition and found  some good conditions. This means that we are in good conditions to go the final attack towards the  summit of Hidden Peak.  With our strategy to stay in high altitudes as short as possible, avoiding   unnecessary worn  to our body.

We're going to rest at base-camp, the weather is terrific. Our idea is  to  return to camp 2, set a third camp at 7,200 m of altitude and then go to 8,068 m of the highest of the Gasherbrums - Hidden Peak. We hope to do our next attack within the next days, let's cheer for good weather.

The  nice weather is also moving other expeditions. Unfortunately those who go to Gasherbrum aren't so lucky. There is much snow, sometimes up to waist, becoming a very hard job. A Korean  displaced snow  plate and went down on an avalanche about 100m, and had just some scratches.

Today is Sunday, it's a shower day, it's time to call family and friends. I leave you a  photo where I appear  in front of my tent. Regards from Himalayans!


Update 6/28/99:


Hidden Peak - Base 5,220 m / Camp 1,  5,950 m, 37th day of the expedition

The weather keeps magnificent. Blue sky and a very sunny day. So, we began our climb again today, aiming to set our last camp at 7,200 m and go to the final attack to the 8,068 m of Hidden Peak. We need nice weather for more three days, let's cheer everything succeeds.

Pepe Garces and I left  the base  at 5:00 pm to come to camp 1. Abele, Christian and Andrew are going to arrive tomorrow morning , because they prefer to leave at midnight and go direct to camp 2. As it is very hot the danger  of falling  in a deep crack  has increased a lot, there are immense holes where there hadn't been before. A new pleasure is the full moon, which is granting   us  a especial touch at nights. It's safer to climb at night, because the moon light   that reflects on the glacier leaves the night as clear as the day.

Update 6/29/99:


Hidden Peak - Camp 1,  5,950 m / Camp 2, 6,500m, 38th day of the expedition

Unfortunately the weather has changed during the night. Our friends who where at base-camp didn't come up. Even with the strong wind and the cloudy sky. Pepe and I have decided to go to camp 2. The idea might not be the best, as the wind has kept blown and we were obliged to be inside the tent all afternoon long. If the weather gets better, we're going to try to fix the ropes in the "Japanese Corridor". Otherwise, we go down to base-camp.

It's a pity that the weather has changed so quickly, because we are very enthusiastic about ending the climb to Hidden Peak.

I leave you a photo where there is the descending of Gasherbrum. Our path follows on the right, on the snow sloping. Getting the superior part, it's need to follow to right.


Update 6/30/99:


Hidden Peak - Camp 2, 6,500m/ Camp 3, 7,200m, 39th day of the expedition

It was a tough day today for Pepe Garces and I. We put the equipment in the "Japanese Corridor". We decided to take a look in details and we saw that the "Japanese Corridor" wasn't easy. We worked   from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm fixing 600 m of ropes. ( three 200m-reels of  8 mm ).   The ropes were from the Korean expedition that are going to climb    Hidden Peak too. Just one of them followed us to stretch the ropes, but sometimes they rolled more. The weather is unstable, but even though it was possible to work. The wind has bothered us a little.

Our friends who are at base-camp promise to come here. If the weather gets better, we intend to do the final attack this weekend.

You see our camp 2, at 6,500m. The beginning of the "Japanese Corridor" where our climb continues, it's the big snow spot that appears in the back, between the two tents.


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